Staying on top of consumer and advertising trends is critical. That’s why we turned to Bob Shullman, research guru and analyst, to get his perspective and learn more about the future of the consumer marketplace. As marketers, knowing more about your audience empowers you to build the most effective marketing strategies. We are here to help.
As an industry analyst, Shullman closely follows what is being published about American consumers and how they are evolving. After speaking with upscale marketers earlier this year, he compiled a list of topics discussed. Not surprisingly, this list of takeaways is fairly eclectic in nature and the following three were the top observations:
• Surprisingly so, many marketers are not aware of which age segments in the U.S. are forecasted to grow in the near future (by 2025)
• A good number of marketers are now aware of how focused Millennials are with social issues and how they expect businesses to hold those same values and work to make the world a better place
• Finally, many marketers are aware of how consumers’ search behaviors continue to evolve rapidly (text search is moving towards voice search and is now also heading to visual search in the not too distant future)
Age Segment Growth
So, which American age segment is growing the fastest? It’s not the one that we suspect most marketers want to be growing the fastest (Millennials)—it’s actually the 65+ segment that is forecasted to grow by 16 million (33%) by 2025 according to Census. Up next is the 25 to 44 year old segment (Millennials and the Younger Gen-Xers) gaining about 7 million (8%). So, if you are a marketer looking for substantial growth and a competitive edge, the stats in the following chart suggest that you need to find a way to focus on the older consumers (65+) as well as those in the 25 to 44 age bracket:
Millennials Expectations: Businesses + Social Issues
Regarding the Millennials’ focus on how businesses are focusing, or better yet, not focusing on social issues, Deloitte recently released a major study that surveyed more than 10,000 Millennials in 36 countries (The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018). The study profiled many topics that should be of great interest to forward-thinking marketers. Notably, 39% of Millennials reported that “Improving Society” should be a business priority while only 25% of them believe “Improving Society” is actually a business priority. While we see more and more upscale businesses focusing on this, we suggest marketers think about how they might shift their business and marketing strategies to address what the Millennials, the next upscale generation, consider to be a major priority.
Evolving Search Behavior
Finally, consumers’ search habits are evolving quickly. As virtually every marketer knows, more consumers now start their search for potential products on Amazon rather than on Google. Is that where you want your customers to be searching? Looking at some recent issues of upscale magazines and also their digital versions, it was amazing how many upscale and luxury brands’ ads did not include their brand’s URL. They are unintentionally sending their clients and prospects to Amazon. Surely not ideal.
With the intro of Amazon Echo and other similar devices, this allows a consumer to conduct voice searches for potential products and services. This requires brands to start looking hard at their “search” strategies as we track how the consumer search for goods and services is evolving. Technology will empower consumers to search by voice prompts or by visual prompts once the software and user interfaces are developed and perfected. Times are indeed changing…